Overwatch 2 was reportedly due to get story missions every 18 months

Overwatch 2
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Former Overwatch 2 developers have reportedly claimed that story missions were meant to be released every 18 months, and they aren't holding out hope that any more will see the light of day.

Overwatch 2's expansive co-op PVE element was supposed to set the shooter apart from its predecessor but was officially scrapped last summer and replaced with story-based PvE missions, three of which were added in August 2023. More are said to be arriving at a later date, yet for the last six months, Blizzard has remained fairly quiet on the matter.

In an interview with Kotaku, former Overwatch 2 developers, who've opted to remain anonymous, have shared their experience working on the shooter's story content, revealing the difficulties they faced during development and their fears that the concept is now dead in the water.

According to the former employees, every story mission has been worked on to a certain degree - some are fully playable, while others are still in the concept stage - and Blizzard's intention was to offer up three of these roughly "every 18 months." The reality hasn't been quite so clean-cut, though, as those interviewed say that the batch already released "did not do well at all," falling short of the "serious numbers" Blizzard wanted and getting a lukewarm response from players.

As well as performing below expectations, getting this content out the door has reportedly been hampered from the get-go, in part by those at the top and their pursuit of what's known as 'Blizzard Quality.'

"[Blizzard Quality] is a justification to essentially piss about forever and ever redoing the same work over and over," one source says. "Some executive goes, 'Hm, but is it Blizzard quality?' It's always leadership or game directors, deciding they need to spend the extra time. So honestly, if they could have just made any kind of decisions, the game would have shipped years ago."

Another source tells Kotaku that adapting Overwatch's gameplay turned out to be "very difficult" because of the hero kits' PvP-orientated nature. Additionally, the game's competitive aspect was, from the outset, seen as the priority and "the core of the game's success," so more time and resources were given to it.

To top it all off, back in January, Blizzard was hit with layoffs after Xbox announced it was axing nearly 2,000 people from its gaming division, and "most" of those laid off from the Overwatch 2 team are said to be those working on the shooter's story and PvE elements.

Of course, this by no means confirms that we've seen the last of Overwatch 2's story missions, but it certainly doesn't look very promising. As always, we'll have to wait for official word from Blizzard before we can know for sure what the future holds for the multiplayer shooter.

Looking for more games to play with friends? Check out our guide to the best co-op games.

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.